Monday, May 26, 2014

The canning season has started

Yesterday I started processing about 125 pounds of ground beef.  Yes, you read that right, 125 pounds of ground beef.

There was a good sale on ground beef at one of the local grocery stores this past week and DH thought it would be good to put in a bulk order and rotate out the freezer stuff.  I don't think either one of us had any idea how much ground beef was in the freezer.

In preparation for this I had picked up eight cases of pint jars from Menard*s last week.  I have some home stock but wanted make sure I had enough jars.

Yesterday morning started with a bit of a bang of sorts.  I woke up at 5 a.m. to my son being sick in the bathroom.  Poor guy.  He spent most of the day in bed. 

Anywho, after I got him taken care of and the mess taken care of it was almost 6 a.m. and I decided to start the project. 

My DH helped when he could.  He had his own projects to tend too.  The morning flew by.  I had both of my pressure canners going. I have two 16 quart pressure canners. They hold 10 pint jars at a time.

Once 1 p.m. rolled around my feet had started hurting and time started getting really slow. My kitchen was a disaster.  It's interesting how this took up ALL of my counter space, my table and the rolling cart I have.

I didn't even eat supper.  I nibbled in between loads.  About 8 p.m. I  started wondering if I could even get this done in one evening.  I posted something on the FB canning group I belong too and one person tipped their hat to me for this most ambitious canning project I have ever done.

I decided that I would probably be up til 1 a.m. finishing this up and I think my guy was ready to stay up with me.

However, about 11 p.m. both the canners were winding down on the current loads, I had 25 pints left to go and was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. (I couldn't believe how long this had been going on.) I opened one of the canners and discovered that it had boiled nearly dry and the bottom of my canner was warped. 

I threw in the towel and told my guy that I was done.  D-O-N-E, done for the night.  NO way was I going to get it done.  I was also peeved over the fact my canner ran almost dry.  I had been loading more then the recommended water amount too.  Grrrr.

This a.m. the alarm went off (because it's Monday even though I don't have to be at work) and we ran to town real quick and picked me up a new canner and came home.

While jars were processing I worked in the garden and I wrapped my project up by removing the rings, washing the rings and washing all the jars that I could.

This may not look like much since I have the jars back in the cases.  This is 108 pint jars, seven quart jars and there are five jars still sitting on my table waiting to get cleaned.  Total is 120 jars.

I don't think I will ever do a processing job as big as this again.  I forgot that from start to finish it takes about two hours for one canner load.  I usually do more water bath canning so I forget that pressure canning takes so much longer.

I think I want salad for supper tomorrow.

Seriously this is going to save us SO much time over the next year and will greatly simplify dinner meals. 

In other news this weekend, we had family out at the homestead which was great like always. 

Afterwards the family decided to go cruising around and checking out the local lakes. My GPS died on me even though I put fresh batteries in it.  There are a lot of little lakes around and so many roads going all around them.  It would be very easy to get lost.

We stopped at one and let my son throw a line out. He caught a few little sunfish. None big enough to be keepers however.

Today was a hot day.  The animals were feeling it.  My DH caught the two Reds snuggling next to each other during a dust bath.  They looked so ridiculous.

While I was working in the garden my DH looked up how to tell boy and girl turkeys apart.  Looks like we have one of each for the bronze turkeys.  The white turkey is a boy too.  He's the tallest out of the three.

Mr. Turkey decided to show off a bit today and fan his tail out.  My goodness he's pretty.  His neck has also started changeing color.

So now we have a breeding pair for turkeys.  To keep or not?  I have a feeling we have two new pets and breeding stock.  Unless they turn into real jerks.

Tomorrow it's back to the grind.  Such a shame since the weather has finally turned nice and I want to do a ton of things at home and outside.

Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. The epic canning project is DONE. 

2. Being able to sleep with the windows open.  That is so nice.

3. Getting to eat meals outside.  I've missed that.

4. Things are starting to come up in the garden.

5. Being able to spend time with family. It's not easy to coordinate all our schedules so I'm always happy when it works out. 

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